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Studio: international art — 6.1896

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http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/studio1896/0066
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STUDIO-TALK

{From our own Correspondents)

LONDON,—It is not quite to the credit
of London as a centre of artistic feel-
ing that it should be notoriously such
a bad place for artists. Compared
with the great provincial towns it is
lamentably backward in its support of art, and its
annual picture shows can produce very meagre
results in the matter of sales. Any one who takes
the trouble to examine the catalogues of the
autumn exhibitions at Manchester or Liverpool
will be surprised to see what a large proportion
of the canvases which have been the sensations
of the metropolitan season have failed to secure
purchasers during the months that they have been
on view in galleries daily crowded with professing
art-lovers in all ranks of society. Popular favourites
and established masters suffer in this respect quite
as much as the struggling beginner or the half-
recognised man of promise, for them all the best
harvest is to be gathered in the provinces.

Perhaps the cause of this is to be sought in the
fact that London is the one great market for the
works of the old masters and other painters of the
past. What money it has to spend is lavished in
the sale-rooms, where pictures are bought less as
pleasant possessions than as objects for secure in-
vestment. The rich buyer who makes his periodical
visits to "Christie's" a matter of duty, soon loses
the inclination to visit the studio of a living man
or to spend an hour in a gallery with any idea of
making his house brighter with what he may pick
up there. He knows that for a very little greater
outlay he can get in a sale canvases by dead artists
that will always fetch again what he gave for them,
and gradually he ceases to be enjoyably selective
and becomes merely acquisitive. The provincial
buyer is much less exposed to this constant temp-
tation of the sale-room, and so his taste has remained
more catholic.

The Society of Illustrators has hit upon a
scheme, novel indeed, but sufficiently ingenious,
which it is hoped will make the Society known to
the general public, and at the same time provide
sinews of war for the prospective conflicts with

erring publishers. This is the manner of it. Mr.
W. E. Henley has edited for it an anthology of
poems relating to London, and each one of these
is to be specially illustrated by one or more of the
Society's members. A limited edition of what bids
fair to be a memorably artistic book will be pub-
lished during the coming year.

GLASGOW.—Much dissatisfaction has
been expressed in artistic circles in
Scotland, that the commission for
the Corporation portrait of Glas-
gow's Lord Provost has been given
to other than a local painter. There are many
Scotch artists perfectly capable of executing the
work, and the fact of the commission not having
been placed locally has, quite naturally, created a
grievance.

For several years the Dundee Art Institute has
held very successful picture exhibitions, but for the
last three years they had to be discontinued, and
the information that these exhibitions are now to
be resumed comes as welcome news. The exhibi-
tion will be held during the months of November,
December, and January.

In conjunction with the Dundee show, the
Royal Scottish Water-colour Society will occupy
one of the galleries with works by its members.
This is the first occasion on which the society has
gone so far north to hold its exhibition, and the
new departure is certainly praiseworthy, showing a
proper interpretation of the aims of a society that
claims to be national.

This season will be a busy one with picture
exhibitions in Scotland, as between this month and
May there will be shows held at Ayr, Dunfermline,
Paisley, Dundee, and of course the Glasgow In-
stitute and Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.
Then the Glasgow Art Club will hold an exhibition
of members' works in the Institute galleries during
November. D. M.

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